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March 17, 2011     Tri-County News
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March 17, 2011
 

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Pal00e 4 Letters to the F.&amp;tor II National Agriculture Day Food and farmers are always taken for granted. March 15 is National Agriculture Day and all farmers should be complimented on their role in our economy. Food and farming is every day, and our farmers in Minnesota and the nation are valuable. Everyday recognition of Min- nesota agriculture may be a real- ity this legislative session. Our Min- nesota Legislature is considering S.E 340, authored by Senator Gary Kubly (DFL-Granite Falls), a spe- cial license plate bill which would direct the Minnesota Department of Transportation in consultation with organizations that represent. farmers, to design a license plate recognizing Minnesota agriculture. Agriculture in Minnesota is 25 percent of our economy and brings in $16 billion of cash to our state coffers and supports 1.5 jobs in all economic sectors. Eighty per- cent of all agriculture-related jobs are off-farm. Farms in Minnesota supply food, fuel and fiber for all. Minnesota farming is the second largest economic sector and the second largest employer. A simple license plate can send a powerful message of support for Minnesota farmers. Call your state representative and state senator and ask then to support Minneso- ta's agriculture license plate bill. Doug Peterson Minnesota Farmers Onion President Madison, Minnesota Funding cuts for CNCS Recently, the United States House of Representatives passed legislation that eliminates fund- ing for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). If the funding bill becomes law, these cuts threaten to have a dramatic effect on the quality of life for local seniors, and all who benefit from their service. CNCS administers many volunteer service programs, including the Foster Grandparent Program, the Retired & Senior Vol- unteer Program, and the Senior Companion Program (collectively the "Senior Eorps") as well as Amer- iCorps, VISTA and Learn and Serve America. As the program coordinator of the Central Minnesota Foster Grandparent Program, I am writ- ing in support of the dedicated ser- vice of more than 200 foster grand- parents throughout Central Min- nesota, whose ability to serve our communities will be at risk if this legislation is enacted. The Foster Grandparent Pro- gram (FGP) is a nation-wide pro- gram that connects older volun- teers with opportunities to provide one-on-one mentoring, nurturing and support to children with spe- cial needs, exceptional needs, or who are academically, socially or financially disadvantaged. In turn, Foster Grandparent volunteers derive significant emotional and health benefits from their service, which can improve their quality of life and provide them with a strong sense of purpose. Locally, foster grandparents vol- unteer in schools, after-school pro- grams and other community orga- nizations. They provide services at a fraction of the cost it would be to have a paid staff member in their role. Last year the volunteers in central Minnesota mentored more than 8,000 students, one-third of whom had special needs. Foster Grandparents may serve 15 to 40 hours a week, and receive a small stipend to defray the cost of volunteering on low-income indi- -viduals. Locally, 94 percent of our foster grandparents are living at 200 percent of the poverty level or below. For many, their modest vol- unteer stipend ensures that they have enough money to live on each month. Eliminating the fed- eral funding for CNCS and thus our program will only create the need to spend big in other ways that we have yet to realize. Help protect the dedicated work of foster grandparents and other national service volunteers by con- tacting Senator Franken and Sena- tor Klobuchar. Ask them to pass a Continuing Resolution that restores funding for CNCS. We cannot afford to lose the cost-effective and criti- cal contributions of more than 1.5 million volunteers nationwide. Emily Chaphalkar Central MN Foster Grandparent Program l-lOW C800.. ,- .- . it ge00" 3 k ? : _a. / " ,< ./,,/ . .____ t ,),A-/ I'  "'" - , - ILEAR REACTOR.CITE Opinion Thursday, March 17, 2011 I lill Pettier "Slices of Life" Doggone good advice from the Cat Meow. It's me again, the Cat. You may remember my discourse from a previous occasion. Today I've brought my vast cat intelli- gence to fill your ordinary day with a dose of feline insight. Lucky you. I'll let you in on a little secret: I have the universe at my whis- kertips and I'm not afraid to say so. Cats rule the world. Oh sure, humans pay the rent, but we con- trol the house, and all the contents therein. Including the dog. Take my dog (and I mean that in the literal sense). I'd hand her over in an instant. Doing so would simplify my life. I'm all for sim- plicity, more so when it bene- fits me. Trouble is, the humans here have grown attached to the loud, slobbering, tail-wagging beast. Although technically I am in charge, I try not to overtly dis- please the humans, in particular the ones with access to the catnip. The dog, however, is another story. I displease her whenever felinely possible. Dog. What kind of a term is that? Say it out loud in the way you humans are fond of doing. Dog. Even the word sounds less than. Less than what? That's the point. Dog is just less than. I would apol- ogize for my cattitude, but I am incapable of insincerity. I am a cat (thank goodness); my purr reso- nates only the truth. I live with a canine, which is the term I prefer over the colloquial and unsophisticated "dog." (You might say I am a refined feline.) Our pooch outweighs me by at least 70 pounds, clearly giving her the physical advantage. She knows nothing of this, because she is (repeat after me with dis- dain) a dog. She watches help- lessly as I drink from her water dish, lie on her doggy pillow and, on occasion (when I am desper- ate), eat her food. The dog under- stands something many humans do not: cats possess wisdom and finesse allowing superiority over the canine species. Either that, or it's the claws. Any dog that's had a run in with yours truly will tell you one thing: my claws are sharp and I'm not afraid to use them. Okay, that's two things, but who's counting? (Cer- tainlynot the dog. Incapable.) As a cat, I experience infinite knowledge, not to mention the ability to count that high. My clev- erness is equaled only by my gor- geous aplAearance, self-assured confidence and perfect tail pos- ture. Well, that and my naturally humble disposition. While it's clear dogs will never be my equal, I'm sure they must possess some smidgen of value. If I could think of what that might be, I would write about it here but there'll be plenty of opportu- nity to explore that subject during another lifetime. (I can probably fit it in between naps.) Speaking of which, I believe I'm approaching time for a cat- nap right now. Frequent snoozing keeps my instincts honed and my mind sharp. I've shared some keen tidbits with you today. I hope you are grateful for my dialogue. If not, well, let's just say I won't lose any sleep over the matter. Because, until next time, I remain... Apathetically Yours, The Cat. Jill Pertler, award-winning syn- dicated columnist and author of "The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication" is collecting fans on Facebook on her Slices of Life page. E-mail her at pertmn@qwest. net;, or visit her website at http:// marketing-by-design.home.mchsi. corn. LOCKOUT,,, _ www.tricou ntynews. M N DEADLINE: 2 p.m. Mondays POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the Tri-County News, P.O. Box 220, Kimball MN 55353. The Tri-County News (USPS 6392 180) is entered at the Post Office, Kimball, Minnesota 55353, as Periodi-' cais. It is punished Thursdays by the Tri-County News, Inc., P.O. Box 220,1 Kimball  55353, Stearns County. LOCATION: Our office is at 70 Main Street South in downtown Kimball Weekday office hours are Monday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Tuesday through Fri- day 9 a:m.-2 p.m. Our te[eph0ne and fax number is (320) 398-5000. E-mail can be addressed to <news@tricounty news.ldN>. Our Web site is <www. tricountynews.ldN>. We also have a drop site at Ert[ Hardware Hank in downtown Watkins. DEADLINE: 2 p.m. Monday. RATES: Subscription rates are $36/year ($26 for age 62 and older) in Minnesota; $46/year ($36 for se- niors) elsewhere in the U.S. Single copy price is 75 cents. STAFF: Jean Doran Matua, Editor and PuNisher Sue, Hughes: Creative Designer Maxine Doran: Admin. Associate Marguerite Laabs: Photographer Marlene A. Young: Ad Sates Rep The staff of the Tri-County News recognizes that it has a responsibili- ty to report the news accurately and fairly, and that it is accountable to the punic. Please contact our office if you feet we've fatten short of that objective. LE'FI'ERS: The Tri-County News welcomes letters promoting the ex- change of ideas and opinions. To be considered for publication, letters should address a topic of current or genera[ interest. Private thanks, po- litical self-promotion, libelous letters, or letters denigrating character or reputation wilt not be punished. All letters must bear the writer's signa- ture, address and telephone number. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and readability. LEGAL PUBLICATION: The Tri- County News is the publication of record for the city of Kimball, In- dependent School District #739, Clearwater River Watershed District, Stearns County, and the Townships of Fair Haven, Kingston and Maine Prairie. RECYCLING: The Tri-County News is printed with soy inks on re- cyc'led paper whenever possible. We encourage recycling. COPYRIGHT: At[ content herein is the property of the Tri-County News and is protected by U.S. copyright taw; content may not be reproduced without our written prior consent. We are proud to be a member of: Minnesota Newspaper Asso c . Kimball Area Chamber Kimball Area Historical Society Stearns County Press Assoc. 2011 MNAAd Contest first-place winner; 2010 MNAAward for Best Website; 2010 MNA Award for Best Self-Promotion Ad; 2010 MNA Award for Best Color Ad; 2010 MNAAward for Best News Photo; 2009 MNA Award for Best Self-Promotion Ad; 2008 MNAAward for Best Advertise- ment; 2008 Award for Portrait and Personality Photography; 2007 MNA Award for Advertising Excellence; 2007 MNA Award, Best Information Graphic; 2006 MNA Award, Classified Adver- tising; 2004 MNAAward, Advertising Excellence; 2000 MNA Award, Best Local News Story. 2011, Tri-County News i " is,z"